From International Socialist Review, Vol.19 No.1, Winter 1958, p.24.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
“Almost without exception, the men with whom I worked on the assembly line last year felt like trapped animals. Depending on their age and personal circumstances, they were either resigned to their fate, furiously angry at themselves for what they were doing, or desperately hunting other work that would pay as well and in additon offer some variety, some prospect of change and betterment. They were sick of being pushed around by harried foremen (themselves more pitied than hated), sick of working like blinkered donkeys, sick of being dependent for their livelihood on a maniacal production-merchandising setup, sick of working in a place where there was no spot to relax during the twelve-minute rest period. (Some day – let us hope – we will marvel that production was still so worshipped in the Fifties that new factories could be built with every splendid facility for the storage and movement of essential parts, but with no place for a resting worker to sit down for a moment but on a fire plug, the edge of a packing case, or the sputum-and oil-stained stairway of a toilet.)”
— Harvey Swados, The Myth of the Happy Worker, in The Nation, Aug. 17
Last updated on: 29 April 2009